Understand the impacts of climate change on rain and snow in Vancouver, and learn how we can adapt.

Rain and snow

We expect an increased frequency and intensity of extreme rain events.

As our climate warms, there will be an increase in the frequency and intensity of heavy rain.

By the 2050s, Vancouver could experience a 5% increase in the volume of winter rain with slightly larger increases in spring and fall. Summers may see a 19% decrease in rain. Extreme rainfall events are expected to intensify with 63% more rain on extremely wet days. 

This could lead to:

  • Increased surface water flooding
  • Sewer back-ups
  • Combined sewer overflows

Snowpack (the daily depth of snow averaged over a season) is projected to decrease by the 2050s. The April 1st snowpack is projected to decline by 58% which could impact our region’s water supply watersheds.

What we're expecting

Amount of rain on very wet and extremely wet days attributed to climate change.
More rain on the wettest days.

Actions: how we're responding to changing rainfall and flooding

  • A Citywide Integrated Rainwater Management Plan is complete and includes recommendations for increased rain with climate change
  • A Green Infrastructure Strategy will be developed to maximize co-benefits such as more trees to handle rainfall. A pilot is being initiated in one area of the city
  • Sanitary and storm sewers are being separated to add capacity to grey (pipe) infrastructure to handle heavy storms and eliminate combined sewer overflows
  • A study of how sewer sizing may need to change in the future to deal with more rain is underway